The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays (The Complete Plays of J. M. Synge)

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Playwright of the Western world

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The masterpiece of this movement, however, is not a tragedy but a comic inversion of the…. An Anglo-Irish Protestant of means, Synge spent time on the remote Aran Islands, which inspired him to identify the west of Ireland as a site of authentic Irishness. Through his plays he planted this idea firmly at the heart of the Irish….

Later, the theatre turned toward realism, mostly rural realism. History at your fingertips.


  • Plays J M Synge - AbeBooks.
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The Playboy of the Western World and Other Plays (The Complete Plays of J. M. Synge)

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Anyone who has lived in real intimacy with the Irish peasantry will know that the wildest sayings and ideas in this play are tame indeed, compared with the fancies one may hear in any little hillside cabin in Geesala, or Carraroe, or Dingle Bay. It is probable that when the Elizabethan dramatist took his ink-horn and sat down to his work he used many phrases that he had just heard, as he sat at dinner, from his mother or his children.

In Ireland, those of us who know the people have the same privilege. This matter, I think, is of importance, for in countries where the imagination of the people, and the language they use, is rich and living, it is possible for a writer to be rich and copious in his words, and at the same time to give the reality, which is the root of all poetry, in a comprehensive and natural form.

Playboy of the Western World

In the modern literature of towns, however, richness is found only in sonnets, or prose poems, or in one or two elaborate books that are far away from the profound and common interests of life.

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